Requirements for Program
The Elementary Education Program is aligned with the New Teacher Standards of the Kentucky Education Professional Standards Board, and the national standards for elementary education approved by the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education.
The model for the elementary education program presumes a collaborative relationship between school and university personnel focused on ensuring a high level of individual attention to the mentoring and socialization of teacher candidates. The faculty recognizes that this is a labor-intensive process, requiring sustained time and effort by all parties. Work in elementary education must be guided by two principles: first, a commitment to continuous improvement based on reflection, evaluation, and on-going research; second, a commitment to peer collaboration as a source of professional growth for teacher candidates as well as school and university faculty.
To receive the B.A. degree in Elementary Education, students must: (1) complete the UK Core requirements; (2) complete the program related studies courses; and (3) complete the professional education component.
- Admission to the program is based on a selective admission process that generally occurs after students have completed at least 45 hours of university course work. All students are expected to meet the standards and rules for Admission, Retention and Completion from the Teacher Education Program as set forth in the section “Admission, Retention and Completion from Teacher Education Programs ”.
- Assessment at the Point of Entry to the Elementary Education Program. At the point of entry students must present an admission portfolio which includes the following: a) a “best piece” sample of writing which demonstrates ability to research a topic in some depth; b) evidence of multicultural/cross-cultural experience with written reflection on the experience; c) evidence of having completed 30 hours of community service with early elementary age children, including a written reflection on the experience; and, d) a written autobiography. Also at the time of entry, students will be required to complete an on-demand writing task.
- On-Going Assessment: Assessment During the Professional Introduction Semester. Assessment of progress in the Professional Introduction semester includes assessment strategies specific to individual courses, but also includes an overall “Professional Introduction Portfolio.” This portfolio is intended to be an extension of the admissions portfolio, adding the following exhibits: a) philosophy of education statement (this will be modified as candidates move through the program); b) “best piece” samples from course work that show evidence of content knowledge, pedagogical content knowledge, and effective practice (given the students’ level of experience); and c) evidence of competence in instructional applications of technology and systems of information management.
- Assessment of Progress in the Professional Block. This includes assessment strategies specific to individual methods courses that confirm content as well as pedagogical knowledge. It also includes some additional assessments. At the beginning of the semester, students’ Professional Introduction Portfolios are reviewed and placement needs are discussed. Once the semester begins, students are observed throughout the semester by their supervisor and are assessed using an observation form which directly reflects the New Teacher Standards. Students also submit videotapes of themselves teaching and an analysis of these as well as other lessons they have taught. The supervisors provide feedback on these lessons as well. The faculty also reviews students’ Professional Development Plans. Each student develops a Professional Development Plan (PDP) in cooperation with UK faculty and school-based faculty. The PDP includes reflections on the student’s strengths and areas that need further work. This document serves as a planning tool for student teaching. Students also continue the development of their teaching portfolio, adding information that demonstrates competence on tasks related to the New Teacher Standards for each Professional Block course.
- Assessment During the Student Teaching Semester. Students are assessed in a variety of ways during this semester. Student assignments include: observations reports, developing a thematic unit, critiquing their own teaching using videotapes, completing two solo weeks, and further developing their teaching portfolios.
Statement on Student Teaching
Students in the elementary education program complete 16-18 weeks of student teaching, concentrating on the ages in grades P-5. (See the section on “Student Teaching” above for additional information on student teaching